Twitter Ignores Rape Threats Aimed at Anita Sarkeesian

July 30, 2013 -

Apparently it is just fine and dandy with Twitter if you threaten to rape someone on its service. Feminist Frequency creator Anita Sarkeesian receives her fair share of vile threats on Twitter on a regular basis, but when she reports them to Twitter it doesn't seem to do anything about them. On her Twitter feed yesterday she noted that she reported several threatening tweets to Twitter and was awaiting a response. Today she received that response, which was a big surprise to anyone who read the example tweet she posted.

Sarkeesian is in the line of fire because of her video web series that "critically explores the representations of women in pop culture narratives," with an emphasis on video games. Her video series was funding by a highly successful Kickstarter campaign, but while it was in full swing and even after it was funded beyond her original target goal, some gamers have shared their discomfort and disapproval in highly inappropriate ways.

But here is how Twitter responded to one of those tweets where someone promised that they would rape her:

The Twitter Rules state: "You may not publish or post direct, specific threats of violence against others."

I don't think the original spirit of Twitter was to jam threats of violence in under 140 characters. Until Twitter decides that it is not okay for someone to threaten to kill or rape another person, this kind of behavior will continue unabated...

UPDATE: As prh99 points out in the comments, the Tweet that Sarkeesian offered a screen cap of is seven months old and the account is currently suspended.

Source: @femfreq


Comments

Re: Twitter Ignores Rape Threats Aimed at Anita Sarkeesian

The account in the screen shot has been suspended, but don't know how long it's been that way.

Also it's from 12/26/2012, guess she going through her back log trolls cause clearly she was in no rush to report it or didn't noticed it when it happened.  I can't say I am surprised Twitter wasn't in a hurry to deal with 7 month old tweet.

 

Re: Twitter Ignores Rape Threats Aimed at Anita Sarkeesian

Good catch.

 

Andrew Eisen

Re: Twitter Ignores Rape Threats Aimed at Anita Sarkeesian

Just doing a devil's advocate, could it be that she reported it back then, but twitter is only getting around to answering her now?

Re: Twitter Ignores Rape Threats Aimed at Anita Sarkeesian

It possible (though I had assumed the screen cap was of the one she reported recently), searching for him on Google turns up tweets that imply the account was recently banned. Though, from what I've found he seems fond of the word rape so who knows if it was a result of her complaint.

 

I did also find

http://www.hln.be/hln/nl/957/Binnenland/article/detail/1595516/2013/03/1...  

You'll have to run it through Google translate, looks he may have gotten in bigger trouble.

Re: Twitter Ignores Rape Threats Aimed at Anita Sarkeesian

Sure.  It could be any number of things really.

I asked Sarkeesian but haven't heard back.  If I do, I'll update the story.  Or write a new one.

 

Andrew Eisen

Re: Twitter Ignores Rape Threats Aimed at Anita Sarkeesian

Looking at Twitter's rules, it would seem that this is against the rules:

https://support.twitter.com/entries/18311

Violence and Threats: You may not publish or post direct, specific threats of violence against others.

However, Twitter doesn't really provide an avenue for users to report and get action on such violations. Clicking the link in that rule brings up this page:

https://support.twitter.com/groups/56-policies-violations/topics/236-twitter-rules-policies/articles/20169997-abusive-behavior-policy

They state they don't interfere, but they may act if those tweets violate their terms of service. Which this would seem to do. So not sure what Twitter is up to.

Not that they could do a whole lot. Gmail accounts are free and easy to get which makes circumventing any ban simple, and quick.

Re: Twitter Ignores Rape Threats Aimed at Anita Sarkeesian

Terms of service:

We reserve the right at all times (but will not have an obligation) to remove or refuse to distribute any Content on the Services, to suspend or terminate users, and to reclaim usernames without liability to you.

 

It's pretty much boiler plate for these kind things, and pretty much leaves everyone at their mercy.

Re: Twitter Ignores Rape Threats Aimed at Anita Sarkeesian

But she should just ignore the haters, or be kind and humble towards them, and that'll defuse the situation! And even if it doesn't, she should just ignore all these threats and remarks! Honestly, she's a fool for taking offense when people threaten to rape her.

</sarcasm>

Re: Twitter Ignores Rape Threats Aimed at Anita Sarkeesian

And she actually does ignore it where ever possible. It is just that she wants to keep some lines of communication open. That is why she closes comments on her videos but leaves her Twitter open. She does that in order to have greater control over who she communicates with and how. 

As for whether she is offended or not, reporting harassing accounts is not the same as being offended. 

If she were responding directly to these kinds of tweets, or pulling a Phil Fish, you might have a point. But she isn't so you don't.

Re: Twitter Ignores Rape Threats Aimed at Anita Sarkeesian

You noticed the sarcasm tag, right?

Re: Twitter Ignores Rape Threats Aimed at Anita Sarkeesian

Yes I noticed the sarcasm tag. I but I felt that the comment deserved response whether it was sarcasm or not in light of the Phil Fish thing.  

Re: Twitter Ignores Rape Threats Aimed at Anita Sarkeesian

I think you made a good comment, but I think the two of you ended up talking cross purposes.

I read the OP's comment as addressing the more general derailing women often encounter when they point out threats or harassment.  It is part of a larger pattern in the industry that can be a real problem since it ties into the idea that women should just be quite and not ruin 'our fun'.

Re: Twitter Ignores Rape Threats Aimed at Anita Sarkeesian

So... you criticized my sarcastic comment as if it weren't sarcastic, even though you knew it was sarcastic?

Re: Twitter Ignores Rape Threats Aimed at Anita Sarkeesian

Sarcasm is a odd thing to read into when it comes to being written and read. You comment could be taken to mean that you think that the advice you spout sarcastically is unworkable and the wrong solution. Which is what I read into it. I was not criticizing your comment but responding to that potential scenario.

Re: Twitter Ignores Rape Threats Aimed at Anita Sarkeesian

That is pretty much what I meant, actually, what with sarcasm being a harsher form of irony, which is saying the opposite of what you mean in such a way as to make it obvious you mean the opposite of what you say. Your reply, however, sounded like you were criticizing the advice itself, not my opinion that it's shitty advice.

Re: Twitter Ignores Rape Threats Aimed at Anita Sarkeesian

They also ignored the Rape threats to one of the men singled out by Jim Sterling who Jim blamed on the whole Jennifer Hepler on and Jim linked everyone to this person's twitter profile and people started gathering pictures of this gentlemens kids and threatening to rape his children. 

Re: Twitter Ignores Rape Threats Aimed at Anita Sarkeesian

You've brought this up several times before.  What are you talking about?  Please provide a link.

For your sake, I truly hope this isn't what you've been on about for the last year or so.  That would be quite disingenuous indeed.

 

Andrew Eisen

 
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